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The Pony Stampede Hilltop Review March 3

Come inside another edition of the Pony Stampede Hilltop Review for the latest on SMU recruiting.

2018 offensive tackle picks up SMU offer

By: Billy Embody

2018 Coppell (Tex.) offensive tackle Mike Ruth picked up an SMU offer last week when offensive coordinator Joe Craddock and offensive line coach Dustin Fry extended an offer when Ruth called the staff last week. The staff has been in contact for the past year or so.

"Well, I met Coach Craddock last spring at one of my practices. Last summer, I went to SMU's camp and he greeted me there, as well. He's a really good guy," Ruth said. "I haven't met Coach Fry in person yet, but I enjoyed talking to him over the phone earlier today. He also seems like a really good man and coach."

Even with Ruth coming by SMU for camp last summer, he hasn't gotten to take in all that he would like to just yet, which he'll do eventually.

"Beautiful campus. I haven't seen too much of the facilities yet though I'd like to," Ruth told Pony Stampede. "I haven't established any plans yet, but I'd love an opportunity to visit."

On that visit, whenever it happens, Ruth wants to get more of a feel for the whole picture at SMU.

"I want to meet as many coaches as I can, see facilities, and ask questions about the school from an academic perspective," Ruth said.

Bowling Green, Penn, Iowa State, Central Arkansas, Memphis and SMU have extended offers, but Ruth hasn't looked too much into any of the schools yet.

"My first offer was only two weeks ago so i haven't done any visits or anything too serious yet," Ruth explained.

The junior said he's looking forward to developing a tight bond with a coaching staff that cares about the true student-athlete.

"I think its important to have a coaching staff who cares for their players," Ruth said. "I also think its just as important to go to school that can prepare me academically for life after college."

The 6-7, 300-pound offensive tackle said coaches like his size, tenacity, and his constant desire for improvement, but admits he still needs to refine his technique, pad level, hand placement and balance.

2018 linebacker picks up SMU offer

By: Andrew Hattersley

SMU has been keeping tabs on 2018 Del Valle HS (Tex.) linebacker Cameron Wilkins for a while, but finally informed him he would be receiving an offer last week. 

“It means a lot because most people don’t get offered as a junior and to be getting offers from Division I schools it’s a blessing,” Wilkins told PonyStampede. 

Despite receiving the offer last week, Wilkins has not spoken much with the coaching staff recently although he plans to in the coming weeks and months.  

“I haven’t spoken to them a lot recently,” Wilkins said, “I hadn’t spoken to them a lot before, but I’m going to start speaking to them a lot more.” 

The 6-2, 230-pound linebacker has already taken a couple visits to SMU for prospect days and loved the atmosphere around the school. 

“I think it’s nice, I really really like it,” Wilkins said. 

Wilkins is hoping to make it to one spring practice, but if he can’t then he will definitely attend the spring game to get a sense of how he interacts with the coaches and players.  

“Just making sure that it’s a good program,” Wilkins told PonyStampede, “That I’m bonding well with the coaches and players and that the school benefits me in whatever major I choose to go in.” 

Wilkins currently has offers from Missouri, Tulsa, Texas State, New Mexico, Arkansas State and Louisiana Tech, but is working a lot on his skill set as a whole to get more offers down the road. 

Allen running back grabs SMU offer as staff targets backs in 2018

2018 RB Brock Sturges

By: Patrick Engel

SMU was initially not going to take a running back in the 2018 class. Now, with new running backs coach Jeff Traylor on board, the Mustangs have sent out a couple running back offers for 2018. One of the recipients was Allen (Texas) running back Brock Sturges. Sturges had been talking with SMU for a couple months and attended a junior day in January. 

“They said they were very interested,” Sturges said. “And then they just hired coach Traylor to be running back coach. He offered me a scholarship. It’s a blessing to be in that position.”

Struges has not actually met Traylor in person, because he had not yet been hired when Struges was at the junior day. That’s going to change, though, because Struges is planning to be at SMU on Monday for a visit to spring practice.

SMU is already off to a good start on Struges. The January junior day left a favorable impression of SMU on him.

“The facilities were really nice,” Sturges said. “And it’s a family-oriented program. The way coach (Chad) Morris hires his staff, and they just take care of their players every day. It’s a great place to get better and continue your education…They look out for the players. They want what’s best for the players,” he said. “That’s the main goal and that’s one thing I’m looking for in making my college decision.”

Sturges will get to see the staff in a different setting on Monday, when they actually get on the field and coach.

“I just want to see how they interact with the players, what their vibe is, the energy they bring to the workout,” he said. “I’m just going to see if I could fit in there and if I could call that place home.”

The 5-foot-9, 190-pound Sturges has also visited Baylor, Oklahoma State and Texas State for junior days. He is planning to be at TCU on March 5. Texas State has offered him already, joining SMU, Nevada, Tulane and UConn on his list. He said Iowa State and Central Florida are showing interest in him as well.

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